Preview: Australia look to level series as rain threat looms large

After the first ODI in Chennai, both Australia and India will be hoping for a full game at the historic Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata. For India, it is an opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in the five match ODI series which will ease the pressure on the team going into the rest of the series. Australia on the other hand will be looking to level the series after the loss in the rain-affected ODI at Chennai on Sunday. The biggest talking point ahead of the second ODI though hasn’t been the fine form of Hardik Pandya or the magical spell by Nathan Coulter-Nile, it’s been the possibility of the second ODI being affected by rain! Although the meteorological department in Kolkata has said that there shouldn’t be any heavy showers to affect the game, the drainage facilities at the Eden Gardens are the point of concern.

Should there be a full game, it is likely to be an interesting encounter since the new surface at Kolkata has been helping fast bowlers more than spinners, although the ground has historically been a happy hunting ground for spinners. The Australian pace attack led by Cummins and Coulter-Nile have IPL experience at the Eden Gardens having played for the Kolkata Knight Riders, and will look to make full use of that. The Indian top order will look to brush aside the poor outing in Chennai and look to score some runs on Wednesday. Rohit Sharma in particular enjoys playing at this venue and has scored a double hundred against Sri Lanka on the same ground. Australia’s top order too will look to make a more significant contribution to their side’s cause after the failure in the first game.

Probable XIs

India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (C), Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah

Australia: David Warner, Hilton Cartwright, Steve Smith (C), Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade (WK), Marcus Stoinis, James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa

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(Akhil Prakash is a sports writer for The Ring Side View and for more updates, you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter)

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